From the monthly archives:

March 2010

Repo Men: Uber-Violent Sci-Fi Smorgasbord

by Dave on March 30, 2010

in Movies


"For a price, any organ in your body can be replaced. But it can also be repossessed."

I’m starting to like Jude Law more and more these days, and it’s not because I’m taking a cue from yesterday’s announcement by Ricky Martin. Maybe it was his hilarious turn on Saturday Night Live earlier this month. Might have been my recent re-appreciation for Cold Mountain. Could be his breathtaking buttocks – I’m not sure. Where was I… Jude, Forrest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber lead the cast of Repo Men – a decent sci-fi action flick unapologetically cobbled together from memories of far superior works.

I’ll clarify that statement in a way which the most distinguished of laymen will appreciate: If the reanimated corpse of Phillip K. Dick somehow managed to impregnate itself using a turkey baster found in James Cameron’s curbside trashcan, the resulting butt-baby would be Repo Men’s second cousin. It’s like Blade Runner, Children of Men and The Harvest were dropped in a blender with a cow liver repossessed from a failing Denny’s. You know what… I’m going to stop right there before this gets silly.

“The Union” is a company which manufactures artificial organs and other body parts which are then sold to the everyman at extortionate prices. “You owe it to your family. You owe it to yourself” is a popular sales phrase. If you fall more than 90 days behind in your payments, said organ is usually repossessed by Union employees (ex-soldiers, tough guys and general scumbags) who come to your house in the middle of the night and literally cut it out of you. If the part was vital – say a heart – you’re left on the floor to die. This is all, apparently, perfectly legal in this vision of the future. The head Repossessor, Remy (Jude Law), leads the charge and from the number of pink slips (commissions) he and his partner, Jake (Whitaker), collect you’d think them both very wealthy men in no danger of disillusionment.

“Hey Jude. Don’t be afraid. Ever seen The Crying Game?”

Inevitably it all goes kidney-shaped as these plots tend to do and square-jawed Jude ends up on the wrong side of the scalpel. Despite several offers from his employers he seems intent on changing his ways and, in doing so, getting himself into a whole heap of trouble. Is it for love? Conviction? Because he read Who Moved my Cheese? To be honest I have no bloody idea. And, on the subject of bloody, you might as well throw a laserdisc copy of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre into the aforementioned blender too – because this flick makes Tobe Hooper look like Hans Christian Anderson.

Law’s motivation for throwing off the Union’s yolk, hanging up his taser and risking life and limb for his fellow debtors isn’t very clear unless you’re paying close attention. He makes a fast 180 – from repo/killing machine into blubbering sissy who can’t even make the first incision – in seconds. Potential spoiler: did the electric shock whack his morals back into place or is he raging against the Union because not only did they force one of their hearts into him, it was their faulty equipment that made the transplant necessary in the first place? The defibrillator-related plot twist at the end doesn’t help because it’s new information that couldn’t have affected his earlier motives. Actually, maybe simply paying attention isn’t going to help you here.

judelaw_repomen“What’s my motivation?” Deleted scenes shouldn’t always be so.

I also wasn’t on board with the speed in which he went from being the company’s #1 Repo Man to just another “job”. It’s literally minutes. He’s the employee to which all others aspire and then suddenly, in the space of a few edits, he’s suddenly broke, almost 90 days behind in his heart payments and about to be rubbed out by all of his best friends. I expect this movie was edited for time and momentum because it felt like necessary narrative progression was skipped –  I doubt you could even see the cutting room floor.

The romance is also rushed. One fleeting glance in a crowded bar leads to Law undertaking a multiple-day detox on a less-than-pretty woman who looks like she was just shat out of an elephant. Maybe I should wrap this review up, because the more I think about the film’s drawbacks the less I’m liking it. Still, despite its potholed plot and unsubtle influences I enjoyed Repo Men – just understand what you’re in for. It’s going to make a lot more sense if you wait to see it on DVD with what I am assuming are about 157 deleted scenes. And if you accidentally rent or Netflix Repo Man instead… you’re probably better off. I give it 2.5 repossessed spleens out of a possible 5.


Lightning Strikes Again. And Again

by Dave on March 29, 2010

in Whinging

god-zeus Two years ago my house was hit by lightning. Insurance covered the cost of replacing the fridge, microwave and dishwasher which were all fried by Zeus’ misfire – I hope it was a misfire, anyway. Because I’ve been sacrificing goats on the regular.

The fun didn’t end there. Even though we installed a house-wide surge protector (after the fact) things keep breaking down and there is no doubt in my mind, or that of the many repairmen cycling through here, that the original bolt must be to blame.

The latest victims – my 3-year old stove and my furnace’s compressor. Over a year has passed so neither is still covered by insurance. All the money I’ve saved for other long-looked-forward-to household additions has been whisked away, just like that. Quicker than a flash of lightning, if you will. Anyone else have any good wrath of the Gods type experiences to share? I’m doubling up on goats for the next month.


Boston Yoga Classes with Amy Leydon

by Dave on March 25, 2010

in Endorsements

I keep PITF fairly free of endorsements so I hope you’ll bear with me on this irregular occasion. A good friend of mine, Amy Leydon, recently re-launched her website and it looks fantastic. I’m going to give her some props, some kudos, and most importantly – some search engine friendly link love which should be more obvious than a naked lumberjack attempting the Setu Bandha Sarvangasana pose once you reach the next paragraph.

boston-yoga-teacher-amy-leydon Boston’s Best Yoga Teacher: Amy Leydon

She was literally voted Best Yoga Teacher by Boston Magazine, so that’s not my biased, friend-ish opinion, either. I urge anyone in search of the ultimate in Boston Yoga Classes, retreats, workshops, etc. to seek out Amy immediately. She does it all. Namaste!


Hip hop’s undeniable cross-culture influence was upgraded to “cross-species” Friday when Renya the female jaguar was given gold fronts.


Just Come Get the Goddamn Thing

by Dave on March 15, 2010

in Worky

I am still smiling… because I got to cross a big, black task off my ever-increasing 2Do list yesterday. I put my broken, 800 million pound 9 year old rear-projection big screen TV on Kijiji last week – fully disclosing it was in need of repair – and a couple with a pickup truck drove an hour and a half to my remote hideaway yesterday and took it away! Hallelujah! In fact, at last count I had almost 30 inquiries. For a broken TV. I love the internet. You put the word “Free” on anything and the people go nuts.

In all seriousness, they seemed very nice and I hope they get it up and working. The TV served me well for a year and a half, after I bought it off my neighbors, and was the first media center of the newly completed man cave. I’m starting to wonder what else I want to shift that I could put up in an online classified ad. All that furniture cluttering the back of the garage? The pile of rocks for which my Dad splashed out over $1,000 and then left to harbor chipmunks in the center of the side lawn? Shepherd? The possibilities may be endless.